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Part I: NEW 100 Best Senior Living Marketing Tips

Three years ago, Insights published the 100 Best Senior Living Marketing Tips as determined by us. It has consistently been some of the most popular content we’ve ever posted. We thought it was time to update the list. So, over the next five posts, we bring you the NEW 100 Best Senior Living Marketing Tips.

As you might imagine, the rapid adoption of smart devices, phones and tablets, along with the continuing convergence of digital and traditional media, has not only brought new tips into the top 100, but caused classic senior living marketing tips to evolve to meet the ever-changing marketing landscape.

We think we have some pretty good credentials to create this list, but by no means do we actually think we have the definitive list, nor do we have them in the only order that makes sense. But we like a challenge, so we put ourselves to the test.

We’re starting the series off with numbers 100-81.

Enjoy! And let us know what you think.

100. Read the GlynnDevins blog, Insights.

99. Leverage your board of directors. A community’s board should be ambassadors as well as business advisors and a source of referrals. Keep them well versed in the community’s position, and make sure they can accurately and succinctly describe the community’s benefits. Just because they’ve joined the board doesn’t mean they understand the product. Then periodically remind them of their role in generating buzz and referrals.

98. Event success is influenced by more than weather. You can’t control weather once you’ve planned an event. But before you schedule your event, check for popular sporting or city events that may conflict with your date.

97. Plan for event follow-up. Event marketing begins with the event, but it doesn’t end there. Make sure staff has time to contact all attendees after the event in a timely manner. Their goal is to qualify leads and move them to a one-on-one appointment.

96. It’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate. When in doubt, check in with leads. They’ll tell you when enough is enough.

95. Help your connections make more connections. Increase the number of referral leads your community gets by making referral packets to be distributed to your board of directors, executive team, associates, residents and family members.

94. Find out about your residents’ social groups. Birds of a feather flock together.

93. Clean up your database. While you’re on the phone with leads, update your database by getting new addresses, phone numbers and emails.

92. Take photos of everything. Document marketing events, social events, speakers and special visitors. Then post them on your website and social media sites. Use them for newsletters, internal communications, press releases or media pitches.

91. Make it easy to RSVP. Phone calls are great, but people often like the convenience of completing a form while they’re on your website. Use both an automated message to acknowledge receipt of the RSVP and request their phone number on the form to confirm their reservation or change of plans.

90. Let leads and prospects know friends are welcome at events. It’s always implied, but call it out in invitations and follow-up calls.

89. Evaluate the quality of leads (both good and bad) generated from online directories. They should ultimately be judged on their conversion to move in, and it’s important to communicate any feedback to the people responsible for evaluating them. There are many options out there with senior directories, and it’s best to concentrate on those that generate the best-quality leads.

88. Offer staff as speakers to civic organizations, Chambers of Commerce, schools/universities, churches and other local organizations. Find a unique topic you can speak to, such as aging services available in your community, or dealing with dementia as a family, and use this to gain interest. Start with organizations where you or staff are members.

87. Reach out to community leaders through announcement and update letters. For example, communicate with the city council, Chambers of Commerce, pastors, fraternal organizations, etc., via letters or emails, and don’t forget to connect with them through social media.

86. Host events with no-cost speakers. Coffee with the mayor, local historians, resident panel discussions and even your own staff. Highlight the expertise of your staff members in cooking demonstrations, Medicare 101, senior living options, active living, fitness classes or continuing education.

85. Work ahead for cost savings in printing. This allows for alternatives ─ type of press, paper stock and when it’s printed. Bid the job with multiple printers. Find a good partner, and print in bulk if possible.

84. If you’re a Marketing Director, consider changing your title to Senior Living Counselor. It may be subtle, but titles matter. Yes, prospects know you’re the salesperson, but when you’re successful, haven’t you counseled more than sold?

83. Use cost-effective mailing formats. Are you getting the best mailing rates? Pay attention to design details – weight, size, aspect ratio, corners, paper stock and tabs/closure. There’s a lot of good information at www.usps.com.

82. Always ask about not-for-profit media rates or any special rates for the senior living category. Some newspapers are trying to entice greater spending by certain categories, and have developed programs that sometimes have better rates than not-for-profit. Always ask and compare rates.

81. Avoid common words with negative connotations – facility, nursing home, institution, etc. The choice of words will change the perception.

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